Karlsson not expecting past injuries to linger into new season
Erik Karlsson is ready to move past a rocky start to his tenure with the San Jose Sharks, saying injuries are no longer hampering him heading into the 2021 campaign.
"I do feel good now. I don’t think that it should be anything that’s going to be lingering. Like everybody, you evolve, and you get older and you learn new things about yourself and what works and what doesn’t," Karlsson told The Athletic's Kevin Kurz.
"... I’m in the same boat as a lot of the other guys and I think that where I’ve been throughout this quarantine has been a good setup for me, to be able to work out and skate on a regular basis and have everything I need to be as prepared as I think that I could be," he added.
Karlsson's health is also making general manager Doug Wilson feel optimistic ahead of the campaign.
"This might be the first time Erik’s been 100% healthy with us," Wilson said earlier this offseason.
Karlsson landed in the Bay Area after a blockbuster trade from the Ottawa Senators prior to the 2018-19 season. The two-time Norris Trophy winner hasn't shown his previous form, though, appearing in only 109 regular-season games with San Jose due to groin and thumb injuries.
The 30-year-old still managed 40 points in 56 games last season. A bounce back in 2021 would be a major boost for the Sharks, who missed the playoffs for just the second time since 2003 last year.
The Sharks began training camp on Thursday, and they open their season in a realigned West Division on Jan. 14 versus the Arizona Coyotes.